Jun 6, 2009

High Rise. Psychedelic Speed Freaks '84-'85.


We were fortunate enough to catch Acid Mothers Temple on their last swing through the States, and they put on what was unquestionably the greatest concert I have ever seen. Like, so good I very nearly quit my job to follow them around on tour, à la the Dead. They came on around midnight and played for two solid hours. I don't know how they have the stamina; I was exhausted just watching them. Most of their albums have a wonderful scribbly quality to them, but live, they laid on a huge slab of monster-sized, head-banging acid rock.

Tsuyama Atsushi functioned as sort of the bandleader, keeping the band grounded with his masterful bass playing while Kawabata Makoto plugged his guitar into a super nova and exploded all over the stage. Tsuyama also has an incredible voice. A lot of what he sang sounded like a cross between throat singing, a human didgeridoo, and maybe Yma Sumac. Songs veered from white-light scrambles, to heavy riffing, to something that I can only describe as medieval doo-wop (the briefly acapella La Li Lo). I could swear that they even played a tiny snatch of Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother.

I don't know if "jamming" even applies to what they do. They finished with Pink Lady Lemonade, which frankly I could have listened to all night. I don't think there's any such thing as too long of a song for these guys. I was utterly blown away, uplifted, and transformed.

High-Rise could be Acid Mothers Temple's grandfathers (Spiritually, at least. Astonishingly, they're barely fifteen years older). I really don't need to say much more than that Psychedelic Speed Freaks is the most succinct, accurate and truthful description a band has ever given itself. Like Kawabata, they reach for zen nirvana through epic geysers of guitar noise played at supersonic speed; flinging out notes like they were using them to smash atoms in a cloud chamber.


High-Rise on myspace

0 Blurts: